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By Neumie
#2318679
I did a search and did not see a shrimp boil recipe on here, so I figured I'd share mine.

A couple of notes:
  • I use my own cajun seasoning for this recipe as it allows me to control the salt and heat level of the boil. If I'm cooking for my family I keep the spice level lower because of kids. Cooking for a group of anglers I'll kick the heat level up with cayenne.
  • One thing I do differently is I'll cook the sausage separate from the main boil; I'll either grill or boil it in a seasoned stock pot on the stove (about 1/4-1/2 cup of cajun seasoning). Cooking the sausage separately removes the fat from the boil which means the shrimp and vegetables are not coated with a thin layer of grease making them feel slimy.
  • Prior to starting the boil I'll prep the table where I'll dump the boil after cooking. Start with a thin layer of plastic sheet if available. Then add a couple layers of butcher paper or newspapers for absorbing juices. If not using a plastic base layer add a couple extra layers of paper. Tape may be necessary if windy. The plastic base layer makes clean up super easy as you can roll it up and go straight into a garbage bag.

I've done quite a bit of boils and have dialed in the meat/vegetable ratio per person so there's not an excess of leftovers. This works for my family, but when I know I have a group with bigger appetites I'll bump the numbers up:
  • Fresh Shrimp (about 20 count): 10 oz per person
  • Andouille Sausage: 3 oz per person
  • Corn: 2 per person (I use the frozen mini corn cobs for boils)
  • Small Red Potatoes: 2 per person

For the pot I mainly use my 30 qt pot filled about 1/2 way up. If using store bought seasoning such as Zatarain's or Slap Ya Mama add those seasonings first then add any additional salt it may need. The following is for seasoning the pot:
  • 1.5 C of cajun seasoning (adjust as necessary)
  • 0.25 C of Kosher Salt (adjust as necessary)
  • 2 Bags of Zatarain's Crab Boil in a bag
  • 0.25 C of Cayenne (more or less depending on who you're cooking for)
  • 4 Lemons (halved)
  • 4 Heads of Garlic (halved)
  • 2 Onions (quartered)
  • 2 Red Bell Pepper (quartered)
  • 0.5 Head of Celery (Cut into 4" pieces)
  • 0.5 Bottle of Bay Leaf
  • 10 lbs Bag of Ice

Directions:
  1. Cut sausage into 1" pieces and boil in a separate pot with about 1/4 to 1/2 C of cajun seasoning (if grilling leave link whole)
  2. Place pot on burner and light the her up to start boiling
  3. Add Seasoning, Boil in a bag, Lemons, Garlic, Onions, Bell Pepper, Celery, and Bay Leaf
  4. Add salt to desired level
  5. Add cayenne to desired level
  6. When water comes to a rolling boil add potatoes
  7. After about 10 minutes add the frozen corn and stir them in
  8. After about a minute add the shrimp, stir them in, and kill the burner
  9. After about a minute add the bag of ice (keep in original bag)
  10. Let soak for about 10 minutes and taste shrimp for flavor
  11. Drain and dump on prepared table

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By SWFinatic
#2318709
Thanks for sharing love shrimp boils. You can get carried away with what you want to put in the pot. Here's a pic of one a buddy of mine did with fresh asparagus, okra (frozen) and fresh pineapple. We also used deer sausage so it wouldn't be so greasy.
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By Neumie
#2318711
SWFinatic wrote:Thanks for sharing love shrimp boils. You can get carried away with what you want to put in the pot. Here's a pic of one a buddy of mine did with fresh asparagus, okra (frozen) and fresh pineapple. We also used deer sausage so it wouldn't be so greasy.

I try not to add too much to a shrimp boil; I really like the simplicity of it. But for crawfish boils I really like to add extra vegetables and experiment more with it. When I do crawfish boils I add mushrooms and brussels sprouts. I'll also do a pineapple at the beginning of the crawfish boil to slice up as an appetizer before I start cooking the vegetables and bugs. Venison sausage is a good idea; I've never used that before.

SWFinatic wrote:What type burner do you use?

I have no idea what brand or how many BTU it is. It good enough for my 30 qt pot, but when I need to use my 60 qt pot on it I have to make sure I give it a good head start.

Here's the setup with my homemade, oak stirring paddle with my family's cattle brand on it.
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By SWFinatic
#2318712
Gotcha nice paddle!

A tip my buddy (who does boils a lot) was telling me about after he's finished with a boil he takes the leftover seasoned water and pours it in an empty 1 gallon plastic water jug and freezes it. Then for the next boil he mostly thaws the jug of seasoned water but where it is still really cold and dumps in the boil to cool it off. He claims it helps with the flavor. I've never tried it.
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By Neumie
#2318727
SWFinatic wrote:Gotcha nice paddle!

A tip my buddy (who does boils a lot) was telling me about after he's finished with a boil he takes the leftover seasoned water and pours it in an empty 1 gallon plastic water jug and freezes it. Then for the next boil he mostly thaws the jug of seasoned water but where it is still really cold and dumps in the boil to cool it off. He claims it helps with the flavor. I've never tried it.

Maybe he let's the boil water reduce some before bottling it? That would make a good concentrate to add to next one. It would certainly help some even if he doesn't reduce it as my way with just adding ice dilutes the boil some. I may try just adding a frozen gallon jug of water next time to not dilute to boil water.
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By Dandydon
#2319930
Thanks for sharing that terrific shrimp boil recipe, Josh. Looks like you did all your required tasting and homework.

Invite the Hobie Navy to your next boil and we'll bring the cold beer. Plus free legal advice for TKF members!

Sent from my SM-G973U1 using Tapatalk
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By Pablo
#2320209
Thanks Neumie, looks like a great recipe complete with instructions!

Have the shrimp, sausage and a lot of the seasonings, can't wait to give it a go!

Thanks again . . .
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By Reefmonkey
#2320681
I agree with Neumie, I like to keep a shrimp boil simple, but I am even more purist about it. Also, I prefer boiled shrimp to be cold, and cold sausage is unappealing (Neumie's idea of cooking the sausage separately is a great tip if you're going to have a hot boil, though), cold corn on the cob isn't that great, nor cold new potatoes unless they're in potato salad. Lemon quarters do add good flavor to a boil, though.

I'm also more partial to either Zatarain's bags, or Old Bay seasoning, I really dislike the liquid and powder Cajun boils, I think they really overwhelm the sweetness and subtle flavors of the shrimp. It's also used to cover up unfresh/frozen shrimp. Back in my undergrad years at SMU when we played at the Cotton Bowl in the mid 90s, my fraternity had a charity fundraiser every year on a game day at the State Fair (students got free tickets back then because the team sucked, and our tickets got us free admission to the State Fair). The fundraiser was called shrimpfest, and for the price of a wristband, you got all-you-can-eat shrimp. Our caterer really dowsed the shrimp in a powdered boil, which made them so spicy and salty. It definitely helped with beer sales, which was our major revenue source at the event, but man did I hate those shrimp.
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